One off the Bucket List: Make Cat Vomit

Cat
Poor kitty had a bad morning!

I can scratch one more thing off my Bucket List now! Exciting day here…. Ritter our ale Ocicat was sitting in the bathroom with me while I applied a careful coat of makeup. He was having much fun with a small elastic hair band. Oh, so cute I thought.

Then it occurred to me he was making some weird noises. What was he doing? Oh hell no. Oh hell yes! Did to just EAT the hair tie. Yes, yes he did. We joke Ritter is “special” – but I didn’t realize he was so special he thought a hair tie was for eating. Sigh.

I have, in the past, deeply regretted not taking action when a pet ate something suspicious, so,I went with my gut here. I quickly googled, “how to make a cat puke”. Then I measured out three teaspoons of peroxide (oh don’t worry, we have stock in peroxide in this house), snatched a dropper out of some other thing in the fridge, and went for Ritter.

Poor thing.

I am thankful he is so trusting and kept believing me when I said I didn’t have that thing in my hand….honest. Took three droppers worth, and about 10 minutes later, poor Ritter puked up the peroxide, plus hair band.

Mission accomplished! And it wasn’t all that difficult. And now I don’t have to worry about the hair band twisting up in his intestines and causing a blockage and other horrible things!

Note to self: put hair bands AWAY!

Recipe: Harvest Quinoa Salad

1 cup Red Quiona – rinsed and cooked (cook like rice)
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Bag – 1cup? Chopped Pecans
1 cup diced apples
1 cup diced roasted golden beets (optional, I happened to have them on hand)
1 cup reduced fat feta
1 tsp each: cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg
Bag of romaine hearts, torn

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Cook & cool quinoa, then mix everything together with the Romain.

Dressing:
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 Maple Syrup
1/4 Water
1 TB Dijon Mustard
2 TB Orange Juice
3 TB (or to taste) Balsamic

Recipe: Roast Garlic & Tomato Soup

Makes 7 quarts
Start to finish = 15 minutes
Prep = 5 minutes

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Ingredients:
9 Tbls + 1 tsp olive oil
18 cloves minced garlic
6 quarts tomato juice
48 oz. crushed tomatoes
3 Tbls + 1 tsp paprika
1 cup sweet vermouth

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Directions:
Saute the garlic in olive oil very briefly, taking care not to brown it. Stir in the paprika and saute for another minute, stirring continuously, and taking care that it doesnt scorch.

Stire in the tomato juice and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat and add vermouth. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Optional: Garnish with parmesan and croutons.

Variations: Add cooked garbanzo beans and garnish with shredded feta cheese and chopped parsley. Or – add tabasco and garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

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I make this soup all winter long. Every fall I bring a batch to work and every absolutely RAVES about it. It is SERIOUSLY easy to make and tastes delicious – this is coming from somebody who DOES NOT LIKE tomato soup. But I LOVE this soup.

….courtesy Yo-Cones Recipe Book, Sara Basso

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dish is so easy to make, it is perfect for gatherings or parties!

Ingredients:

2 cans chopped chicken, rinsed and drained
1/2 block cream cheese ( I used 1/3 fat )
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup ranch dressing ( I used low fat )
Louisiana hot sauce to taste – you could use all of this, or half of this. Up to you.
1/2 cup Chopped green onions, optional. I had some on hand.

Directions:
Toss all in crock pot and turn on, stirring occasionally 🙂

Use with any sort of chip, bread, or veggies if you want to go healthy.

Avocado Tomato Pasta Salad

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Oh wow. This was insanely good. I made it up pretty much.

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked pasta
1 avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 TBS olive oil
2 limes, juiced
3 garlic cloves, diced or mashed
Salt
Pepper
2 TBS basil, chopped
Dash of oregano

Directions:

Cook pasta

In separate bowl, combine olive oil, avocado, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano.

When pasta is cooked, drain, and mix in the other ingredients. Toss in tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Quinoa

This dish is SO DARN GOOD! I cannot get over how amazing it tasted. Sweet but hearty, and a little nutty all at once. I am IN LOVE with this. Make it. You won’t be disappointed.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp. Truvia

1 cup quinoa: soak for 10 minutes first, then rinse in strainer.

2 cups pitted quartered cherries

2 tablespoons TOASTED sliced or slivered almonds (or nut of choice)

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 mashed up banana

Dash of cinnamon when served, and a dollop of pure maple syrup or agave if you wish.

Directions:

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook 15-25 minutes. Quinoa is done when most of the liquid is soaked up -much like cooking rice.

While milk is coming to a boil, toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant, which should only take a few minutes.

Remove quinoa from heat, add in mashed banana, and chia seeds. Stir. Depending on consistency you prefer, you may want to add a dash more of almond milk.

Top with almonds and cherries; cinnamon and syrup and serve warm!

8 Points Plus Pizza

We like to eat pizza about once a week. Typically I use a small whole wheat pre baked crust I get at Golden Harvest. It’s only about 8-10 inches, and whole wheat so I figure it’s a lot better than other options. We split it, so it’s four small pieces. I guess at about 10 points for this.

Today though I bought La Tortilla Whole Wheat Wraps ( again at Golden Harvest), to use as a crust so I could count the points exactly. I wound up with an 8 point pizza! Not bad.

Ingredients:
1 La Tortilla Whole Wheat Wrap
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/4 cup lower fat mozzarella
8 slices turkey pepperoni

Optional: garlic, spinach ( I mixed a clove of fresh pressed garlic in the sauce, and put the spinach piled on top )

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, be sure to check often! I took it out when the crust started getting brown in the edge. I imagine all ovens and pizza pans work different. I actually used a stone. It was tricky getting in and out, since the tortilla is so thin.

Be sure to check the points on your cheese and sauce, some may be more than others.

I ate it with a huge salad, and am feeling fairly satisfied! The “crust” was a little sad, but hey,it tasted like pizza, and that’s all I really needed.

Veggie, Cheesy, De-LITEFUL Lasagna!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
Optional: zucchini or squash diced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
5 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons low fat Parmesan cheese

About 6 lasagna noodles, cooked. (I used spinach ones I got at the health food store)

2 tablespoons parsley for garnish at end (dried or fresh)

Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, or longer if you want more carmalized: 5-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.

Cook noodles while browning onions as directed. (Big pot of boiling water)

Heat oven to 375

Layer sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce… Top with parm. Place in oven (uncovered) and bake for 35 minutes (until things start bubbling up hot!)

Douse with parsley.

Serve.

This made us dinner for TWO nights – a great big HUGE hunk, too. When I put the recipe into WW Points Plus, it came to 7pts for each serving (serves 4).

Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Let me tell you the many ways I love Steel Cut Oats! They are amazing. If you don’t know what they are… here we go. They are the original, un-processed form of OATMEAL. Instead of being rolled, crushed, flattened and dried, they are beautiful little nuggets. And because they are less-processed, they stay with you longer! Now, I have never really loved oatmeal. Sure, give me a packet of Quaker Instant Oats with Maple/Brown Sugar (and add a scoop of brown sugar..), and I’ll gobble it down. But, I may as well have eaten a Snickers bar, really. Steel Cut Oats now, these are entirely different. They have FLAVOR and TEXTURE! I love their nuttiness, and the nice little nugget they are.

Lately I have been making a pot of SCO each Sunday, and packing up portions for the morning. Works great. But, I found this recipe for using the Slow Cooker I couldnt pass up. I was running out of time in the evening to make a pot, so this was perfect, and really – tons faster and easier!

So, here we go….

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 Apples of your choice. Cored, and chopped up into 1/2ish chunks. About 3 cups worth. You can peel also, if you wish. This is the part that takes the longest of this whole receipe.

2 cups Milk – use any kind of milk here you want. Skim, whole, almond, coconut… Personally, I used coconut because I had an overabundance of it.

2 cups water.

2 packets of Truvia, or similar sugar substitue (stevia based) – or, if you are wild & crazy, use 2 TB brown sugar.

1 TB Chia seeds. OK, this is optional. But I really love my chia seeds.

1/2 tsp Cinammon (or more!)

1/4 tsp salt (or less!)

1 cup uncooked steel cut oats!

p.s. I added 1 mashed up banana. Optional.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all of the above into a bowl.

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. This is Very Important. You will probably still have some sticking, but it helps.

Toss everything into crock pot.

Cover & cook on low for 7 hours.

Awakend to a wonderful breakfast made just for you! I typically top with some nuts and maybe an extra splash of milk.

I portion out the oats into about 1 cup portions and toss in the fridge. Then in the morning the rest of the week – a little splash of milk and a couple minutes in the micro and I have a wonderful, totally healthy breakfast.

TRY IT!

Recipe: Carmalized Onion Toast

This is based off a Tapas plate we get at Sangria in Sarasota. We have recently discovered it, and it is super yum.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Goat cheese
French bread of some sort, sliced into 6 pieces, about 1/2 inch thick.

Directions:
In a large pan, drizzle 2 tbs olive oil and heat to medium.

Meanwhile, slice up onion into slices. Doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, you could do a rough chop, too, as they cook down to very little.

Add onion to pan, and stir. Continue to stir periodically, taking care not to but the onions. Heat at medium is good, though I continued to lower the heat. Keep watching and stirring occasionally until onions get all brown and gooey.

I then added a dash of salt and a splash of balsamic glaze… This is optional.

Heat oven to 350, and quickly crisp the sliced bread. Let cool.

Once the bread is cool, layer on some goat cheese, and then top with onions.

The sweet onions with the tang of balsamic and the creamy goat cheese make for a wonderful few bites! A great little appetizer to start off an evening.

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